They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

All posts regarding past greats should be made under this heading.

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:13 pm

Here's a surprise -- Shiv Prakash Misra's finest run in a Slam, making R3 in singles at the US Open in 1964:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_U.S._ ... pionships_–_Men%27s_Singles

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:31 am

I haven't mentioned Shyam Minotra here before. But he did win one round in the main draw at Wimbledon in 1967, losing in R2 to Niki Pilic (who later became Yugoslavia's Davis Cup captain, after beating Vijay Amritraj at the same stage at Wimbledon more than a decade later IIRC). But that was the only year that Shyam Minotra played at Wimbledon. There now is a nifty archive at Wimbledon that has this information:
http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/d ... /r2s2.html

Shyam Minotra played just a solitary Davis Cup match for India (against lowly Sri Lanka), but he also won the doubles bronze medal (in partnership with Chiradeep Mukerjea) in 1978 (his obituary in the Hindu wrongly said it was with Jaideep!). The obituary also mentioned that he had once beaten Ilie Nastase. His brother Jaggi Minotra lived in our district (as Dushyant, for instance, will remember) and was 12 times champion in the area (having apparently been junior national champ in his time as well). I played Jaggi (then 62 I think) and beat him a couple of years ago :-) (but, of course, age has taken the edge off his once-killer top-spinning serve).

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:11 am

I began this thread with Chiradip Mukerjea -- ie, what I could readily remember about this last remaining amateur in the Open era. I knew he had made the second round in 1975 (because it was mentioned in the customary Illustrated Weekly of India Wimbledon preview article in 1976) and 1973 (the year of the pro boycott), but he also made the second round of singles in 1970 (for a singles main draw record of 3 wins and 3 losses); all three wins were in the Open era, and he was one of the rare players playing as an amateur (and probably needing to qualify on all three occasions). He also played in the doubles main draw in 1973 (with Gaurav Misra) and 1977 (with Bhanu Nunna), likely having qualified in. Here is his record from the Wimbledon archive:

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/d ... index.html

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:01 pm

Chiradip Mukerjea not only made R2 of the singles main draw at Wimbledon on 3 different occasions, he also had a rather big one in the last of those -- beating Poland's Wojtek Fibak in R1 in 1975 (when Chiradip was one of the few amateurs in the draw). Fibak was to rise to #10 in 1977, but 1975 was the year he had started making his move up (at age 23), making a tour final and 3 SFs before that Wimbledon loss to Chiradip.

Chiradip's doubles partner in 1973 was Gaurav Misra -- son of Sumant -- and they lost in R1. Gaurav also was in the singles main draw in 1973, as part of a massive contingent of SEVEN Indians in the singles main draw, the others being Chiradip (R2), Jasjit Singh (lost in R1 in four sets), Premjit Lall (lost to Borg in R1, albeit after a record-setting tiebreak), Anand Amritraj (lost in R2 to Jaidip Mukerjea), Jaidip (who lost in R4, the PQF, to Vijay Amritraj!) and Vijay himself (who lost a 5-setter in the QF to eventual champion Jan Kodes).

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby Saniapower » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:40 am

Laxmi Poruri-Madan (born November 9, 1972 in Guntur, India) is a retired professional tennis player and the first Indian-American female to play professional tennis on the WTA Tour in the modern era.
Poruri grew up in Central California where, from a very young age, she was known as a tennis prodigy. In 1986, she won the Orange Bowl, beating Monica Seles in the final. At age 15, she played her first US Open where she lost to Katerina Maleeva in the 2nd round. She attended Stanford University from 1990-1994 on a full athletic scholarship, where she was a four-time All-American athlete, the 1994 Player of the Year and the top-ranked women's collegiate tennis player in the country.

This is from wikipedia. Curious to know more about Laxmi Poruri.

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby prasen9 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:18 am

Laxmi Poruri made a conscious decision of choosing a law/business career than tennis. Obviously, she was sharp.

Here is what she has done: Poruri on LinkedIn

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby RohitG » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:26 am

What prompted her to take such a decision? Could have made it big.. Plus, being an American citizen, I doubt she had obstacles like the others. Someone enlighten me on this

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:24 pm

I remember Laxmi Poruri's exploits from 1988-89, when I was was a grad student in Philadelphia. She used to be mentioned as one of the exciting non-white American tennis prospects alongside Chanda Rubin. And of course India Abroad used to rave about her.

She made R2 of the US Open twice before going to college, and didn't make it past R1 in the two years after graduating from Stanford -- although she did make R2 of the AO. As a Stanford grad, I think she decided to pursue her other talents/prospects once she concluded that she wasn't going to be a top-10 player on the WTA tour. She had wins over the likes of Ai Sugiyama (when she was ranked 52), but she never really had any really big scalps. I didn't know she had beaten Seles in the junior ranks -- not the Orange Bowl, though, but the Junior (under-14) Orange Bowl. As a pro I think her top ranking was around 110 , which she probably felt wasn't good enough for her, and she chose to pursue other ambitions.

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:32 pm

I remember Laxmi Poruri's exploits from 1988-89, when I was was a grad student in Philadelphia. She used to be mentioned as one of the exciting non-white American tennis prospects alongside Chanda Rubin. And of course India Abroad used to rave about her.

She made R2 of the US Open twice before going to college, and didn't make it past R1 in the two years after graduating from Stanford -- although she did make R2 of the AO. As a Stanford grad, I think she decided to pursue her other talents/prospects once she concluded that she wasn't going to be a top-10 player on the WTA tour. She had wins over the likes of Ai Sugiyama (when she was ranked 52), but she never had any really big scalps. She was never able to qualify for the FO or Wimbledon (where she lost in Q3 a couple of times). I didn't know she had beaten Seles in the junior ranks -- not the Orange Bowl, though, but the Junior (under-14) Orange Bowl. As a pro I think her top ranking was around 110 , which she probably felt wasn't good enough for her, and she chose to pursue other ambitions.

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby prasen9 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:58 am

Because she thought --- and I think she was correct --- that she could have a better life if she pursued her law/business career ambitions. It is extremely hard to make it big as a tennis player and she did not have huge weapons, I think. Really, if you cannot become a top 10 or top 20 player but instead have a great business career, then why not pursue it?

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby punarayan » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:09 am

I watched her at the USO qualies and she made it into the main draw after surviving the heat and the humidity, which was oppressive that summer. She was physically overcome, but with sheer grit crossed the finish line. She did not have much left for the 1st round against Arantxa Sanchez, at the usual forum - the Grandstand and had to retire due to heat exhaustion - but she was brave to continue as far as she was able. I got to talk to her the next year and she was retired and headed to be an English teacher and write the next great american novel! She co-authored an article subsequently in the NYTimes, laying out the isolation of the tour and the sheer banality of the loneliness of a women in dark and damp places in Europe. Her parents, I believe were physicians and so had commitments to keep, which left her without the close family support that others enjoyed on the road. Nice strokes and grit, but lacked the physicality required to make it as a touring pro. A great conversationalist!

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby Omkara » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:42 am

Very few people can take the right call at the right time. She must be congratulated for taking the right call.The game has become physical. I saw Natasha Palha loose a 3-1 advantage in the 3rd set against former top 150 player. The difference was physique.

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:04 am

Thanks for those wonderful personal stories, punarayan: insightful as always!

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby gbelday » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:24 pm

Yes, absolutely a pleasure to read narayan's posts!

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Re: They flitted briefly upon the tennis world's stage...

Postby PKBasu » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:38 am

Just had an exchange of views with Laxmi Poruri-Madan on a friend's Facebook feed. She said that Monica Seles was four inches shorter than her when she (Laxmi) beat Monica…I think she exaggerates, but the gist of her comment is that junior results are driven by many physical and age-related issues and do not predict future pro success.
She sent me a "friend" request soon afterwards, and I accepted with alacrity!


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